The Cambodian correspondent of the Vietnam News Agency reported that on February 5, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce announced on January 8, 2021 that the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries would stop importing fish, cobia, porcupine catfish from neighboring countries including Vietnam. In response to the case of the four species of catfish, the response document was officially released.
The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce clearly stated in the document that the Cambodian side will conduct internal consultations to find suitable solutions, restore bilateral trade activities to normal, and work for the interests of the two peoples. Cambodia once again pledged to observe and support the spirit of trade liberalization within the framework of the multilateral trading system and the ASEAN Economic Community.
Previously, Vietnam Minister of Industry and Trade Chen Junying had sent a letter to Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak (Pan Sorasak) on January 29 regarding Cambodia’s adoption of catfish import restrictions. In accordance with the provisions of Article 20 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, it can only be adopted under special circumstances such as maintaining national security and social ethics, protecting human and animal and plant health, protecting precious natural resources, history, works of art and national antiquities, or protecting the environment. Import and export restrictions. Cambodia’s order to ban the import of catfish violates the trade liberalization spirit of the WTO and the ASEAN Economic Community, to which Vietnam and Cambodia are contracting parties.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in recent years, Vietnam has exported about 60 million US dollars of aquatic products to Cambodia each year. Although Cambodia is not a big market for Vietnamese aquatic products, its import demand is relatively stable, and it has made a positive contribution to the development of trade in border areas, creating employment opportunities and income for local residents. (End)